Anti-gun movement seeking new angle?
At Snowflakes in Hell, Sebastian has a thought about the antigun group's apparent increase in references to suicide rather than homicide. He suggests they're angling for recruits among the families of suicides. It's unlikely that they are aiming to find a winning argument for the general population; suicide is the ultimate in "if he can't get a gun, he'll use something else" situation.
He has, I think, a good point. When impacted by a tragedy like that, a person often has a drive to feel that they are doing something about it, thus striking back at the tragedy itself. (That's why Pete Shields essentially founded what is today the Brady Campaign -- before his time it was a tiny group, but as a former Dupont VP he had the skill to make it a big one. His son was murdered by the Zebra Killers, and he was off to do something).
With suicide right now, those impacted can volunteer for suicide hotlines, join local suicide prevention groups with their educational campaigns... in short, do things which are productive but seem small scale. They might be likely recruits for campaigns that can claim a broad national agenda in exchange for donations and volunteers. Add to that the factor that families of the average suicide victim are probably better off financially, and better able to donate, than families of the average murder victim (esp. now that gang killings have become a large picture of that), and that there are more of them.
Japan has far more suicides than the U.S., and NONE are with guns! Now that's a hint.
Posted by: Paul at July 11, 2008 10:14 AM
Substitution. Key economic concept that we all do every day, yet few manage to identify it as such. Guns not available? There are plenty of other ways to end a life. The Japanese experience proves it. Finding causation for sociological effects is not simple and can in fact be indirect. Ditto for violent crime.
Posted by: RKV at July 11, 2008 10:51 AM
My Grandfather killed himself. As a 7-year old kid my dad was told by a nasty little neighbor boy, "I heard the shot!"
Ever since then he was anti-gun, eventually becoming a Minister influenced by the pacifist teachings of Ghandi, and another anti-war Pastor/mentor who had been a WWI machinegunner.
Dad's 83 now and a few years ago while Mom was researching family history the police report was discovered: "found hanged."
That changed nothing, anti-gun is too much a core belief.
Posted by: DirtCrashr at July 11, 2008 11:18 AM
My nephew, at age 23, got drunk one night last year and ended his life with a pistol I helped him acquire. (he wasn't prohibited... I just helped him afford something decent rather than a piece of junk)
After a bout of soul searching, I realized that without my assistance, he would still have purchased a gun. I know for a fact that he was familiar with gun safety... he knew the 4 rules... he simply made a stupid decision. If guns were unavailable, I'm pretty sure the 3rd story balcony behind him would have served the same purpose.
I miss my nephew every day, but I'm not responsible for his actions, and neither is the gun he chose to misuse.
Posted by: Chris at July 11, 2008 12:53 PM
I believe that if a person loses the quality of life that makes life livable, a formal and legal method of suicide should be made available to the public.
Just look at what we do for animals to keep them from suffering needlessly for the remainder of their lives. Why can we not have the same compassion for human-beings that we give pets, who are in some cases thought of as humans?
We allow the murder of innocent unborn children who would otherwise become productive citizens. Yet we force people who have nothing left to give to endure the pain and humiliation.
This is a screwed-up world that we live in and you helped make it this way!
Posted by: Ron at July 11, 2008 04:52 PM
as for men, in the end, you must let them make their own decisions in all things. no one should be forced to subsidize any of this. charity is the only honest face which can be worn when dealing with the suicidal. they may be suicidal, but they aren't dumb, and they already don't think anyone actually wants to help them.
as for the animals, you can consider that a mixed blessing, or wholly irrelvant: domestic animals behave they way they do because we bred them that way.
Posted by: jon at July 11, 2008 05:00 PM
three words for you.
Get. Professional. Help.
You are talking pretty wildly and projecting the fault onto the rest of the world...you need help.
Posted by: doug in colorado at July 11, 2008 05:37 PM
four words for you.
Who. Made. You. God?
Ron's fine. You're overbearing.
Posted by: RKV at July 11, 2008 06:03 PM
IIRC, about 1/2 of suicides are rural males over 60 with serious illness. They aren't stupid or impulsive, they are just doing for themselves the same thing so many MD's do easily with barbs and booze.
Being in control of your body, even in death, beats becoming another mindless financial drain languishing in a nursing home praying for relief that doesn't come. Nope, these old boys know about rope, fast cars, and tall buildings. A gun ban won't deter them for more than a day.
Posted by: 30yearProf at July 11, 2008 07:18 PM
Ron, agree with you about right-to-die, disagree with you firmly on what I view as a woman's rights issue that I wish all men would just STFU about.
I'd rather someone take their own life quietly with a gun in the privacy of their own dwelling than than jump in front of a bus I might be riding on, or leap from a tall building I might be walking past.
Freedom includes the freedom to fuck up and make bad decisions (and be held accountable for them). Enough Nanny-statism, please.
Posted by: JJR at July 11, 2008 09:48 PM
Can't do it with a gun quietly without paying the $200 tax on the suppressor.
Don't know which side you're on as regards a "woman's rights issue", but since you misrepresented it so audaciously, I assume you favor infanticide. Shame on you.
Posted by: straightarrow at July 12, 2008 02:07 AM